Who is buying international property where?

Every overseas property professional wants to know where the real estate hotspots are around the world, so the Rightmove guide, Who’s Buying Property Where? for 2015/16 makes fascinating reading.

In addition, investor demand is rising significantly, with Rightmove seeing overseas inquiries rise by half over the last year.

Chris Please, Head of Rightmove Overseas, says, “We have seen strong positive growth in the market this year, with enquiries for international properties increasing by 50% compared with 2014. That positive momentum is also visible in the record number of survey responses we received, with over 4,000 people taking the time to complete our questionnaire.”

The top three countries where buyers aim to purchase property in the next year are Spain, France and Italy.

The top three regions are all from Spain, with Andalucía, Murcia and Valencia leading the way, ahead of the Algarve, Portugal, and Languedoc-Roussillon, in France.

The 54-page volume 3 of Who’s Buying Property Where? features data on major overseas countries, including age group of buyers, most popular property types, the origin of buyers, top destinations, reason for purchase and average purchase prices.

For the most popular countries, more data is provided and there is a word cloud illustrating the main reasons why investors are buying.

Aimee Valaitis, Rightmove Pricing and Product Analyst who compiled data for the report tells OPP.Today says there are a number of reasons why inquiries have risen by half.

“Firstly, the strength of the Sterling compared to the Euro in recent months means that buyers can get more for their money. Secondly, the pension changes which came into effect in April allows buyers to have access to more of their pension and some are choosing to buy property abroad. Finally, the UK election has provided more confidence for buyers.”

The report also has a section detailing buyer motivations, which says location is the most important buying factor for 66%, price 19%, condition of property 7% and agent reputation 6%.

So, why is the agent reputation figure not higher, we asked? “A lot of buyers looking to purchase a property overseas will be doing so for the first time. These buyers are likely to have a property in the UK so are used to working with UK agents. Agents in the UK work on behalf of the person selling the property and not the person buying. This is very different to agents overseas who will work with both the seller and the buyer.”

Aimee Valaitis says the report reveals interesting trends about the role of technology in buying – 73% of buyers say they find property through the internet, 65% through overseas agents, 13% UK agents, 11% exhibitions and 9% print – plus the details in the word clouds. Most buyers (85%) use desktop computers to search, with half (49%) using tablets and third (32%) mobiles.

“We feel that there are two very surprising findings from this report. Firstly, the number of buyers using mobile and tablet devices to search for property. Buyers are becoming more tech savvy so it’s import that we also keep up with this as an industry. We need to make sure websites, enquiry forms etc. are all mobile compatible so we can make the buying process as easy as possible.

“Secondly, we feel that the word clouds on the country overview pages perfectly demonstrate the inspiration behind buying a property overseas. These word clouds are the responses from buyers when we asked them what inspired them to buy overseas.

Spain = Weather
France = Lifestyle
Italy = Love
Portugal = People and
USA = Investment.”

The top 10 countries where buyers are looking to purchase a property within the next are: 

  1. Spain
  2. France
  3.  Italy
  4. Portugal
  5. United States of America
  6. Cyprus
  7. Ireland
  8. Greece
  9. Turkey
  10. Bulgaria
The top 10 regions are: 
  1. Andalucía – Spain
  2. Murcia – Spain
  3. Valencia – Spain
  4. Algarve – Portugal
  5. Languedoc-Roussillon – France
  6. Islas Canarias – Spain
  7. Poitou-Charentes – France
  8. Illes Balears – Spain
  9. Aquitaine – France
  10. Provence-Alpes-Côte d`Azur – France.

There were slightly more male buyers taking part (55% v 45%) and most buyers (41%) were aged from 55-64, with 29% from 45-54, 19% 65-plus, 11% from 30-44 and 2% aged under 30.Two-thirds of buyers purchasing in Spain are looking for holiday homes and 68% are cash buyers. Half of purchasers want to rent their home out when not in use.

In France, 55% are buying second homes with 70% being cash buyers and 59% looking to rent their homes.

There are 61% looking for second homes in Italy, with 59% paying cash and 65% wanting to rent their property when it is not being used.